Author(s): Tobias G. Natter
Vienna's enfant terrible. This is an unparalleled work of Klimt scholarship that revisits his work in the context of his contemporaries. The countless events being held to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth make a clear statement to the enduring appreciation for the work of Gustav Klimt. Not that it takes such a special occasion for the press and the public to start talking about Klimt. More than two hundred articles about the artist appeared online in August 2011 alone, in comparison with barely seventy on Rembrandt within the same period. This media publicity set editor Tobias G. Natter is thinking about the value of compiling the present book. During his lifetime, Klimt was a controversial star whose works made passions run high; he stood for Modernism but he also embodied tradition. His pictures polarized and divided the art-loving world. Journalists and general public alike were split over the question: For or against Klimt? The present publication therefore places particular emphasis upon the voices of Klimt's contemporaries via a series of essays examining reactions to his work throughout his career. Subjects range from Klimt's portrayal of women to his adoption of landscape painting in the second half of his life. The cliche that Gustav Klimt was a man of few words who rarely put pen to paper is vehemently dispelled: no less than 231 letters, cards, writings and other documents are included in this monograph. This wealth of archival material, assembled here for the first time on such a scale, represents a major contribution to Klimt scholarship. Defining features of this edition: catalog of Klimt's complete paintings, and all known letter correspondence. BONUS: facsimile of the very rare book "Die Hetaerengesprache des Lukian", illustrated by Klimt, designed by Joseph Hoffmann and executed by the Wiener Werkstatte, and with text by the ancient philosopher Lucian (considered to be one of the most important erotic books in the history of literature). TASCHEN's facsimile is from one of only 50 copies printed in 1907.
The editor and author: Tobias G. Natter studied art history and history at the universities of Innsbruck, Munich, and Vienna. He worked at the Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna for fifteen years. From 2001-2002 he was curator of the Neue Galerie in New York. From 2006 to 2011 he directed the Vorarlberg Museum in Bregenz and was responsible for the museum's new premises and the reorganization of the collection. Since October 2011 he is the director of the Leopold Museum in Vienna. His extensive publications and his conception and organisation of exhibitions on the theme of "Vienna around 1900" have made him an internationally acknowledged expert on Viennese art at the turn of the century.Contributing authors: Evelyn Benesch, Marian Bisanz-Prakken, Rainald Franz, Anette Freytag, Christoph Grunenberg, Hansjorg Krug, Susanna Partsch, Angelina Potschner and Michaela Reichel